Preprint Essay Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Application of Metabolic Engineering Approaches in Enhancing Biological Hydrogen Production

Version 1 : Received: 18 July 2020 / Approved: 19 July 2020 / Online: 19 July 2020 (20:43:36 CEST)

How to cite: Ng, W. Application of Metabolic Engineering Approaches in Enhancing Biological Hydrogen Production. Preprints 2020, 2020070440 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202007.0440.v1). Ng, W. Application of Metabolic Engineering Approaches in Enhancing Biological Hydrogen Production. Preprints 2020, 2020070440 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202007.0440.v1).

Abstract

Hydrogen is useful as a fuel and could be produced by a variety of means. One approach uses artificial photosynthesis where energy from sunlight powers the splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen. But, biological methods for producing hydrogen has emerged strongly over the past decades. In particular, specific microorganisms could use different substrates to produce hydrogen at differing yields. Such fundamental discoveries with industrial applications thus motivated the use of metabolic engineering approaches and methodologies in enhancing biological hydrogen production through a series of enzyme over-expression, pathway debottlenecking, and gene deletion. However, such approaches heavily rely on the selection of an appropriate microbial chassis for biohydrogen production. With the proper strain in hand, use of alternative substrates may engender greater hydrogen productivities. But learning from the bioprocessing field, co-culture of two compatible microorganisms have been sought after for improving biohydrogen production. In addition, thermophilic microbes may also be useful candidates for exploiting hydrogen production from composting. Future outlook in the field looks into filling our gaps in understanding of the metabolic network that feeds into hydrogen production in different organisms. But, more importantly, problems such as reduced growth rate in engineered microbes point to fundamental issues with using genetically engineered microorganisms for improved biohydrogen production, to which clever bioprocess engineering may yield solutions.

Subject Areas

metabolic engineering; biohydrogen production; microbes; co-culture; metabolic network analysis

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